FORT DEFIANCE – What a difference a quarter makes.
After the first quarter and change, about nine minutes into the game, Fort Defiance led Stuarts Draft 14-11. By halftime, Draft had rallied to lead by 10.
The Cougars then pulled away throughout the second half, beating Fort 56-33 Friday night in girls’ basketball at the Don Landes Gym.
“Second quarter we were a little more patient with our shots,” said Draft’s Rachel Sauder, who finished with 12 points. “We were trying to go inside and then out. Taking the shots once they came open instead of trying to rush stuff. The big key was we were just more patient with our shots.”
Fort scored 14 points in the first nine minutes, but it took the Indians more than 19 minutes to double that total. Julia Frazier’s putback gave Fort 14 points. Emily Humphries drove to the hoop for two points with 3:32 left in the game, cutting Draft’s lead to 51-29.
In between those two baskets, Fort Defiance was 4-of-24 (16.7 percent) from the floor with 16 turnovers and Draft had outscored the host 40-13 in that span.
“We went inside,” Draft coach James Carter said of the difference in the quarters. “I told them before the game. Patrick [Hartley, Fort’s coach] does a really good job with his girls of running the pack line defense. They do a good job of cutting off so we needed to be more patient. We weren’t very patient in the first quarter. Chucked up a lot of 3s.”
The Cougars had been hitting 3s in their first two wins, so Carter said it was probably a false sense of confidence. And he knows there will be many nights when his team can hit from the outside. Friday wasn’t one of those nights. When that happens, his players need to learn to settle down. Carter doesn’t want to give up on the 3. He just wants more of a rhythm to the offense. That’s what happened after the miserable first quarter.
Paetyn Beverly kept the Cougars afloat early though, scoring 10 of her team’s first 16 points and finishing with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Fort’s Hartley said he thought Beverly was the best inside player in the area, without question.
“It’s nice to have Paetyn Beverly inside,” said Carter. “And Monique [Ayers] did a really good job as well. Our post [players] played really well tonight and got us good looks inside.”
Danielle Brenneman added 12 points for Draft in the win also. Faith Farley led Fort Defiance with 11.
“It was just a good effort, as far as offensively, after the first quarter,” said Carter. “I thought defensively we were very solid tonight. I think we had 15 steals. I was very pleased with that.”
Draft is now 3-0 while Fort Defiance fell to 0-4.
Fort’s jayvee team beat Stuarts Draft 28-19 behind 18 points from Meredith Lloyd. Payton Nicely had eight points for the Cougars.
9 17 16 14 – 56
12 4 7 10 – 33
Stuarts Draft (56): Sauder 3 6-7 12, Brenneman 4 1-1 12, Rodgers 2 0-1 4, Black 1 0-0 8, Lowery 1 0-0 2, Ayres 1 1-4 3, Beverly 6 3-4 15, Barlow, Chatterton, Turner; TOTALS 18 11-17 56
Fort Defiance (33): Farley 4 0-0 11, Humphries 1 2-2 4, L Doughty 1 0-4 2, Taylor 2 0-0 4, Cramer 2 0-2 4, A. Doughty 2 4-5 6, Frazier 1 0-2 2, Henderson, R. Doughty; TOTALS 13 6-15 33